2020 In Review

2020 In Review

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Wow, what a topsy turvy year!

Twenty-twenty started so promisingly with plans for great adventures and new projects, but like most people, these soon unravelled as COVID-19 took hold and the world battened down the hatches.

Despite all the turmoil the global pandemic brought, it was still a very successful year and a year full of surprises. I would like to thank all those clients who worked around the new restrictions and commissioned me for projects and also to everyone who bought a copy of the new Mountains book or a limited edition print.

Below are some of the highlights of 2020.

January – Saw the launch of the new edition of Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs. Three years after the first edition, the Mountains book received an update with new climbs and rider essays. Get yours here.

Mountains Books

Mountains Books

February – A touch of fashion for my good friend Misa Harada who makes the most beautiful hats.

Misa Harada

Misa Harada Shoot

March – One of the last studio shoots for Le Col with models before the lock down began.

Le Col

Le Col Shoot pre-Lockdown

Plus work for a new client, professional cycling team Bahrain McLaren during a wind tunnel testing day.

McLaren Wind Tunnel

In the McLaren Wind Tunnel

April – saw a collaboration with Canyon Bikes through Aspire Marketing where I rode one of their urban bikes for a month, taking it out on adventures around a very quiet city and beyond. It was a time to savour quiet roads and a new type of world.

Canyon Bikes

My temporary Canyon

May – The biggest surprise of the year was the growth in print sales. As people spent more time at home, they also decided to renovate and decorate their surroundings. This resulted in the acquisition of new artwork for their walls and a new backdrop for the increasingly popular Zoom calls.

Cormet de Roselend

Cormet de Roselend Print

June – Due to social distancing, the majority of the briefs I received were for still-life work such as this shoot for Le Col promoting their Pro Air Jersey. We certainly had some fun making those jerseys float!

Le Col Still Life

Le Col Still Life

July – Finally a chance to get outside again and explore England and the south coast for another new client – Sun God Eyewear. It made me realise, what a glorious country England is in the summertime.

Sun God

Sun God Summer Shoot

Plus a shoot collaboration with Wahoo and Le Col in this brutalist concrete location below.

Wahoo Le Col Shoot

Wahoo Le Col Shoot

August – with the Tour de France approaching, I headed off to Monaco for my only foreign travel this year. The mission – to photograph Geraint Thomas in his new Ineos Grenadiers kit for Zwift. Normally there would be 40+ people on set but due to COVID there was just me, an assistant and G!

Zwift x Ineos Grenadiers Shoot

Zwift x Ineos Grenadiers Shoot

And the final comp.

Geraint Thomas Zwift Shoot

Geraint Thomas Zwift Shoot

September – saw another collaboration in the studio with Rudy Project Eyewear and Le Col.

Le Col x Rudy Project

Le Col x Rudy Project

October – the opportunity to work again with one of my longest standing clients, PwC. It’s been a few years since we have worked together but great to be back in the mix, this time shooting the Annual Report. More to follow in the new year.

PWC Shoot

PwC Shoot

November – with another lockdown looming and the weather closing in, I took the opportunity to dash to Wales to shoot the new campaign for the Austin Cycles ATTO carbon folding bikes. What glorious weather too!

Austin Cycles ATTO Shoot

Austin Cycles ATTO Shoot

December – The last month of the year saw a shoot with another new client, The Football Association. Two shoots with both the Men’s England Football team and also the Lionesses. Here, Jordan Henderson with client logo blacked out (campaign yet to be officially launched).

Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson – FA

So, all in all, given the restrictions on travel and photo shoots it’s not been too bad. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve picked up so many new clients this year and that so many of my existing clients are in the cycling sector, one of the few industries that came out of the pandemic relatively unscathed.

2021 looks like it’s going to be a good year. I already have a full diary for January plus plans for travel once life gets back to something a little more normal. Keep an eye out for new prints and updates on the book coming soon too.

If you would like to discuss any projects or see a portfolio, please get in touch on photography@michaelblann.com or 07775 572534.

Lastly, have a great New Year and a prosperous 2021!

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